Comic Book Characters Who Should Have Their Own TV Show

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After five seasons on Smallville, DC’s Green Arrow returns to the CW tomorrow night, this time with his own series and a brand new pair of abs. If the hooded vigilante hits the mark (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves), Arrow would be one on a short list of successful TV superhero programs in recent years. Not too long ago AV Club did a nice piece on why networks can’t get the genre right, making the good point that it’s not the “powers” part that matters most, but human story that expands beyond them. Arrow doesn’t technically doesn’t have powers, so he’s already off to a good start. And since TV is only getting better at grand, humanity-exploring serials, it stands to reason that there could be any number of successful superhero programs in the future. Which leads us to the big question: If you could choose any comic book character to get their own series, who would it be?! We turned to some experts in the field for their thoughts, and of course invite you to add your own to this impressively diverse wish-list in the comments.

Buddy Blank

“Jack Kirby’s OMAC features Buddy Blank, a corporate nobody who through ‘remote-controlled hormone surgery from outer space’ becomes One Man Army Corps; an Ares-like, future-sized Captain America with a Mohawk for attitude and Brother Eye for a shield that supplies an arsenal of mass destruction via satellite. It’s The Six Million Dollar Man by way of Battlestar Galactica where the war on terror is matched by a vision quest for identity!”

— Dean Haspiel, creator of Billy Dogma and Emmy award winner for HBO’s Bored to Death

Batwoman

“I would love to see Batwoman with her own series. She’s an awesome, strong female character, which we always need more of, and has fantastic ethereal villains to balance out her very human and flawed character. Badass costumes, hardcore lady fighting, and the potential for guest cameos from Batman! Plus, it’s always great to get more LGBT representation in the media, especially in the form of a sexy redheaded lady (just ask all those people who keep hoping that Merida from Brave is a lesbian!)”

— Amanda Deibert, co-creator of Comediva‘s weekly webcomic Hot Mess

Jon Moore

“I might be biased because his name is on my book, but Nathan Edmondson and Tonci Zonjic’s Where Is Jake Ellis? is no-brainer TV gold. Weekly adventures of Jon Moore globe-trotting as he tries to find out just who his über-spy ghost guide is and why he can see him, all while being chased by a mysterious government agency. Now that I write this, it boggles my mind that it’s not on TV already!”

— Mitch Gerads, artist on The Activity (Image Comics)

The Punisher

“Definitely The Punisher. The Punisher film adaptations have had mixed results, but Frank Castle would be a perfect antihero for TV. The Punisher has a simple high-concept premise and the story lines would be ideal for an episodic format, perhaps like Dexter, but with a darker tone. It would definitely need to be a cable show because with The Punisher you can’t skimp on the violence.”

— Jason Starr, author of Wolverine MAX (Marvel Comics)

Mickey Mouse

“Mickey Mouse, which sounds unfair because he had cartoons, but they were never done to the best of their ability. Floyd Gottfredson was such a great Mickey Mouse comics writer/artist, creating engaging narratives of all kinds. I wish the cartoons drew from Gottfredson’s comics, much the way Duck Tales was taken from Don Rosa’s comics — longer stories instead of seven-minute gag cartoons.”

— Fred Chao, writer/artist of Johnny Hiro (Tor Books)

Luther Strode

“One book I’d love to see on the screen is The Strange Talent of Luther Strode. Beneath the blood-soaked veil of violence, Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore have created a compelling story that demands as wide of an audience as possible.”

— Landry Walker, co-creator and writer of Danger Club (Image Comics)

Gambit

“How about Gambit? I always loved him in the original X-Men animated series. Thief seeking redemption. Total ladies man, with a Cajun accent. Set in post-Katrina New Orleans. In a very special episode he teams up with Kanye West, and the two get into a bar fight with Mike Brown and some FEMA people. I’m available to start writing it next week.”

— Sandeep Parikh, creator, writer, and star (as Merman) of Save The Supers (My Damn Channel)

Josephine, femme Fatale

“Sean Phillips and Ed Brubaker’s Fatale would make a cracking TV show (though, HBO or AMC only, please) — Lovecraftian crime noir starring a mysterious, cursed, and somewhat less hardhearted than she’d like to admit heroine. It’s an unexpected yet hugely effective mix of genres, and the book has the style, sharp dialogue, and depth of character needed for an effective multi-season drama.”

— Alex de Campi, creator of Valentine (Image Comics)

Kevin Matchstick

“There’s been talk for years that Matt Wagner’s superhero epic might be a movie, but its quest structure makes it ideal for cable television. Kevin Matchstick is on an Arthurian journey, dabbling in magic and fighting monsters across America. Wagner leads his hero through darkness to get to the light, gathering the whole of capes-and-tights storytelling under one Joseph Campbell-inspired umbrella. A television serial would allow the story to breathe in the same manner it does on the page, providing plenty of room for the large, colorful cast of characters Matchstick meets on his way.”

— Jamie S. Rich, writer of Michael Allred’s It Girl and the Atomics (Image Comics)

The Middleman and Wonder Woman

“The Middleman! Yes, he already had a show on ABC Family, but it was a great show canceled far too soon. I say bring back the original cast and writing staff, and give them the budget to capture the full wackiness of the premise. Failing that, I’d ask for a Wonder Woman series done right, preferably from a female showrunner.”

— Christopher L. Bennett, author of Only Superhuman (Tor Books)

Ben Day

“Ben Day from Hell Yeah would be great for TV because not only is he one dude who is already cool, [but] there are multiple versions of him from parallel dimensions, you’d have no problem making a show out of that. Every episode would feature new Ben Days and the original Ben teaming up with himself to stop his own selves from being murdered.”

— Ross Campbell, artist on Glory and creator of Wet Moon and Shadoweyes (Image Comics)

Dana Cypress

“The golden age of television has, thankfully, given us protagonists that are deeply flawed — Jack Shepard, Cullen Bohannon, Hank Dolworth — yet also heroic. Dana Cypress would be a welcome addition to that list. She makes poor decisions with men, has fractured relationships with family. Such traits — in context with Revival’s dynamite premise — makes for a true heroic figure, someone who can triumph despite their personal struggles.”

— Michael Moreci, author of Hoax Hunters (Image Comics)

Walker Bean

“I would love to watch any TV show starring Walker Bean (from Aaron Renier’s The Unsinkable Walker Bean)! Bean is a young, timid inventor who gets tossed into an adventure on the high seas, crossing paths with ancient curses, menacing pirates, lumbering underwater witches, and incredible machines. Walker Bean would take over ‘primetime’ in a heartbeat, if given the chance. Now who do I talk with to make this happen?”

— Jess Smart Smiley, author and illustrator of Upside Down: A Vampire Tale (Top Shelf Productions)